The University of Zurich was delighted to host Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), the newest member to the university network Universitas 21. During the visit, the two institutions discussed ways to build on their shared characteristics and existing links.
Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) holds a significant place as one of the oldest and most esteemed universities in Indonesia. Situated in the vibrant city of Yogyakarta, the institution has become a hub of academic excellence. The university places a strong emphasis on sustainability, community service learning, and multidisciplinary international collaboration, showcasing a commitment to fostering a holistic environment for education and research.
Both the UZH and UGM are the largest and most research-diverse universities in their respective countries. The visit of the UGM delegation to the University of Zurich emphasized their shared characteristics and explored past and future avenues of collaboration.
On an institutional level, UGM and UZH are linked through Universitas 21 (U21). U21 is a unique global network that unites 29 world-leading, research-intensive universities. While UZH has joined in 2017, UGM is the newest member, having joined earlier this year. U21 plays a significant role in creating opportunities for student mobility, fostering a community for the exchange of best practices in research and education, and providing a platform for sharing approaches to address common challenges and trends in higher education.
On an institute level, the UZH’s Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies (ISEK) and the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Universitas Gadjah Mada have maintained strong connections for almost a decade. Over the years, they have cultivated a strong partnership, championed by Prof. Dr. Annuska Derks (UZH), and Prof. Dr. Pujo Semedi (UGM). This partnership has involved many PhD exchanges, research fellowships, and writing residencies, as well as a master student exchange program. In the past years, UGM has become a key partner in the International Summer School series "Southeast Asia in Motion”. The series’ most recent edition took place at UGM in August 2022.
With the existing collaborations in mind, Professor Puji Astuti, Director of Partnership and Global Relation at UGM, expressed, “We at UGM are delighted with the existing links between UGM and UZH. Building on that, and we aspire to deepen our relationship. That’s why we are here today”.
Together with representatives from the faculties, the option of double degrees was discussed, with both universities showing great interest in this kind of collaboration. Double degrees have proven to be very attractive for UZH students; however, merging two university systems can pose a challenge. The exchange with UGM revealed potential methods to overcome this challenge.
Additional avenues of collaboration are currently pursued by ISEK. For instance, a research project on alternative education led by Prof. Semedi and Dr. Molly Fitzpatrick, with co-applicants Wahyu Kuncoro and Annisa Hartoto. Futher, another International Summer School edition within the “Southeast Asia in Motion” series is planned for 2025. In this edition, UGM students and lecturers are welcomed at the University of Zurich.
Molly Fitzpatrick, Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer at ISEK, notes “Collaboration with Indonesia and UGM has proven to be extremely fruitful and mutually beneficial. We look forward to continuing our diverse two-way exchange, and we believe this kind of collaboration has the potential to spill over into other faculties”.